This was not a movie I was absolutely in love with but it still was one that I really liked and could appreciate for all it did.

You could really call this movie a human drama. With this I mean that the movie has plenty of drama in it but in a very realistic and sensible way. These are all very human characters, dealing with some very human things, in a very human way.

And thing that the movie also has definitely going for it, is that it doesn't ever tell its story in a too heavy handed way. This could had so easily turned into a melodramatic picture but instead it picks a far more interesting approach by making things more light and almost comical at times. This also makes the movie its story and all its developments a surprise, for most part of the movie. It cleverly avoids all of the clich├ęs, through its great writing and storytelling abilities by Alexander Payne, who has really mastered the genre.

Really still the biggest key, as to why this movie works, are its characters. They are all not without their flaws and weaknesses, which makes them very realistic ones, first of all things. But all manage to become some very likable characters, despite of all their weaknesses. You also really start to feel and understand their feelings and why they do certain things the way they do and respond in certain ways. This is a real accomplishment, since you have to remember that this goes for basically each and every character and there are of course a whole bunch of very different characters in this movie.

Alexander Payne has always been a director that knows how to get the best out of his actors. And this movie really is no exception to that. Really, once you start thinking about it, George Clooney is a guy that has always maintained his own acting style and therefore often seems to be playing the same guy over and over again (not that is a complaint though. I still really like him as an actor). But still I can say with almost absolute certainty that he has never been better in any other movie before. Also truly impressive was the unknown Shailene Woodley, as the oldest daughter. Lets hope we will get to see many more great things of her, in the coming future.

A great watch and you definitely shouldn't be scared off by its heavy and serious subjects.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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